PM Modi, Joe Biden speak on phone, discuss Covid-19 situation in both countries – Mint

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation with President Joe Biden today evening, the day after the US said it would send raw material for the Covishield vaccine.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have assured India and its people of providing all assistance, including urgently sending necessary medical life-saving supplies and equipment, to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus crisis.

PM Narendra Modi said that he had a “fruitful conversation” with the US President about the prevailing Covid-19 situation in India and the United States. The two leaders spoke to each other over a call on Monday evening.

PM Modi, in a tweet, also thanked Biden for the support that the US has decided to provide India in its fight against Covid-19.

“Had a fruitful conversation with @POTUS @JoeBiden today. We discussed the evolving COVID situation in both countries in detail. I thanked President Biden for the support being provided by the United States to India,” Modi tweeted.

“My discussion with @POTUS @JoeBiden also underscored the importance of smooth and efficient supply chains of vaccine raw materials and medicines. India-US healthcare partnership can address the global challenge of COVID-19,” the Indian PM added.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” Biden said in a tweet.

What the two leaders discussed

The two leaders discussed the Covid-19 situation in their respective countries, including India’s ongoing efforts to contain the second wave of the virus through expedited vaccination efforts, and ensuring the supply of critical medicines, therapeutics and healthcare equipment.

President Biden conveyed solidarity with India and affirmed that the US was determined to support India’s efforts by quickly deploying resources such as therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccines.

PM Modi conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the offer of assistance and support from the American government. He mentioned India’s commitment to contain the Covid-19 pandemic globally through Vaccine Maitri, and its participation in COVAX and the Quad Vaccine Initiatives.

The Prime Minister underscored the need to ensure smooth and open supply chains of raw materials and inputs required for the manufacture of vaccines, medicines, and therapeutics related to Covid-19.

Both leaders underlined the potential of the India-US partnership in vaccine development and supply to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and directed their respective officials to maintain close coordination and cooperation in their efforts in this domain, a statement released by the Indian side read.

PM Modi also informed Biden about India’s initiative at the WTO for relaxation in the norms of the Agreement on TRIPS to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries, it added.

The two leaders also agreed to remain in regular touch.

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